Constitutional Reforms during the Nineteenth Century

The Constitution of 1818 was perceived in diverse ways. Criticism was sparked in particular by the monarchical principle and by the right to vote with a high census and a breakdown by class. The nobility enjoyed an exalted position. A reform of the constitutional order began in the nineteenth century with several constitutional laws and amendments to the laws.

The reform legislation of 1848 changed and limited the constitutional position of the king: the law on ministerial accountability bound any governmental action of the king to a ministerial countersignature. The Landtag’s (Regional Parliament) electoral law, which had been passed recently, led to an actual representation of the people; additional electoral law reforms followed. The formation of parties and of parliamentary groups in state parliament during the nineteenth century was an additional important step on the path to parliamentarisation. Of great importance was the institutionalisation of constitutional jurisdiction through the establishment of the Constitutional Court in 1850.

The accession to the German Reich in 1871 and the Imperial Constitution of 16 April 1871 (especially Article 2) led to further far-reaching cuts. Constitutional amendments became necessary, even if the Kingdom of Bavaria received numerous privileges. Following the death of Ludwig II (1845–1886, king 1864–1886) and during the long regency (1886–1913), the constitutional state fell apart.